Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching reading and writing in which words are broken up into their smallest units of sound or ‘phonemes’. Children learn to associate a written letter or group of letters, known as ‘graphemes’, with each phoneme. Sounds are then built up or ‘blended’ together into words for reading or, conversely, whole words are broken down or ‘segmented’ into their constituent sounds for writing.
The benefits of this approach are:
• children learn in an order which is well thought-out and allows them to progress through stages as they are ready;
• teachers have a structure for planning and clear stages for assessing children, in order to ensure progression and coverage;
• children can attempt new words working from sound alone;
• reading and writing become practices that are developed hand-in-hand
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